What's most surprising is that it took this long for someone to come up with the idea.
Helmet cameras have been all the rage for the last few years, and the internet is spilling over with an excessive amount of self-made, point-of-view edits created by skiers and snowboarders from all over the world. But until now, there's been no way to organize these videos geographically, no way to collect them in one tidy place.
Enter ClaimMyRun.com, a website that launched in beta last February and is rolling out a full site starting this winter. The idea is simple: You shoot helmet cam footage of a run down, say, Snowbird, Utah's Upper Cirque, you upload the footage to YouTube or Vimeo, then you tag it on the Snowbird page of ClaimMyRun, indicating where on the trail map the footage was captured.
Then other people can go and check out all the footage taken from that particular run, or that particular resort, and rank the best edits.
"A year and a half ago, I was skiing with a GoPro camera and I thought, 'How cool would this be if I could organize this on a trail map? So someone who'd never skied there could click on that trail map and see that run through my eyes," says Brett Hills, the co-founder of ClaimMyRun.
The website soft launched last winter with just two resorts: Taos, N.M, and Mountain High, Calif. In the first six weeks, they had over 600 videos loaded from fans at those two ski areas, and those videos were viewed over 300,000 times. The site now has Snowbird, Jackson Hole, Stevens Pass, and Crested Butte on board (resorts pay a fee to be listed on the site but they can use the programming on their own website), and they hope to have most major resorts on the site by the end of next winter.
"Our technology was begging for a better product," Hills says. "We wanted to take that two-dimensional trail map and put programming behind it so you could attach videos. That's what today's society is moving toward: Creating an open source platform and allowing users to contribute."
As for the name of the website? Says Hills, "If you're the first person to put that run up, your video will always come up as the first to have claimed that run."